Home Cricket News Steve Smith Downplays His Return To South Africa For The First Time Since Sandpaper Gate

Steve Smith Downplays His Return To South Africa For The First Time Since Sandpaper Gate


Former Australia skipper Steve Smith has returned to South Africa for the first time since the sandpaper gate unfolded under his leadership and expressed that the crowd has been lovely so far. While head coach Justin Langer had said that Smith and Warner got a taste of hostile reception in England but the talismanic run-scorer admitted that he has moved a long way from those black days. 

The turns of events unfolded when Australia toured South Africa in 2018. The incident took place in Cape Town during the third Test and was eventually banned. Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for 12 months while Cameron Bancroft got a sanction for nine months. The return has been outstanding for Smith and Warner while Bancroft is yet to seal his berth. 

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The second-ranked Test batsman acknowledged that he is not too much perturbed by it particularly when batting. Steve Smith also expressed that the people have been lovely in South Africa and have some fond memories in this country. 

"Just walking into the hotel in Sandton, initially I was like, 'the last time I left here it wasn't pretty'. It wasn't the best time in my life. But I've moved on from that and learned a lot," Smith said. "The people have been lovely. For me, it doesn't bother me too much. Justin said something the other day about having a dress-rehearsal in England.

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I, honestly, don't notice it particularly when I am batting. It's just words. It doesn't affect me. People want to say things, great, people don't want to say anything, that's great as well. It's their opinion. People want to say things, go for it," he added.

Australia will lock horns with South Africa in a three-match T20I series followed by ODIs. South Africa will come into the series having lost two close encounters against England. Despite winning the first game by one run, they lost the second by two runs and then by five wickets in the final T20I. 

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